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So Who Is This Johnnie Brown?

Frank Lloyd Wright said, "Many architects had imagination but only Addison Mizner had the courage to let it out of the cage."

That's not all he let out of the cage.

It was the eclectic architect Addison Mizner who brought the Mediterranean Revival style to South Florida: arches, stucco, porches, red tiles, courtyards. Hard to believe it wasn't just naturally here.

This was a debonair guy who was bigger than the stories told about him. At over 300 pounds, he was a larger-than-life eccentric who typically paraded about town carrying a small zoo on his shoulders. Johnnie Brown was the star -- a mischievous and fun-loving spider monkey -- would sit on one of Mizner's shoulders, often a parrot on the other. Folks knew they were somebody if Johnnie recognized them; he even ran for Mayor of Palm Beach. Johnnie reportedly enjoyed great food and good music. He passed away in 1927 and is buried in the courtyard of Mizner's villa off Worth Avenue where his headstone calls him "the human monkey".

So, in honor of the fun-loving spirit of this famous monkey, let your self out of your cage in this place we call Johnnie Brown's!

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